What a strange couple of days.
As I sit here in my safe and comfortable house, more and more pieces of information about the devastation in Norway filter in and I feel so helpless. Images of the destruction caused fill TV and computer screens and I shed a few tears for the families of those who’ve lost their lives.
And when his picture, that heartless bastard who caused all of this, flashes up, I get a feeling in my throat and stomach as though I’m going to be sick.
What kind of man does something like this?
They’re calling it Norway’s 9/11.
And, of course, the blame game begins. Why would someone just snap like that? Some are saying it was religious reasons. Others are blaming the fact that he played computer games.
The latter seems ridiculous but the facts can’t be denied that we’re all becoming numb to the horrors of the world. TV shows glorify violence by getting us to sympathise with serial killers who murder criminals or mafia bosses with psychological problems. Newspapers show us graphic images of war torn countries and dead bodies which shock us … but not like they used to. We play computer games with aims of shooting the enemy and stealing cars to score narcotics while running over pedestrians.
That fine line between reality and fantasy begins to blur.
On the eve of his execution, Ted Bundy explained the motives behind his murders: “My experience with … pornography that deals on a violent level with sexuality, is once you become addicted to it … I would keep looking for more potent, more explicit, more graphic kinds of material. Until you reach a point where the pornography only goes so far … where you begin to wonder if maybe actually doing it would give that which is beyond just reading it or looking at it. Violence in the media particularly sexualizes violence, sends boys down the road to being Ted Bundys.”
22 years later and Bundy’s proven right. More than ever, the media glorifies violence … and feeble minds are susceptible to snapping and going apeshit, not realising that their actions are wrong.
I’m not saying that the media is to blame for Anders Behring Breivik’s actions at all. But given how exposed we are to the glorification of violence, it isn’t any wonder that those prone to mental outbursts begin to believe they’re invincible.
And then there’s Amy.
Poor, sad Amy. Her music was probably the closest I’ll ever get to liking jazz and it had only been Friday evening, as I took the train home from work, that I’d listened to her Back to Black album again, wondering when the next one was due for release.
So much talent and beauty … and all gone at 27.
Her family, friends and loved ones don’t deserve to have her memory tainted by ignorants saying she deserved it because of her lifestyle choices. She made that choice. Not her loved ones. She wasn’t physically harming anyone but herself. She wasn’t harming you. So leave her rest in peace.
Being an addict doesn’t automatically make you a bad person or take away the beauty and creativity of your spirit. Anders Behring Breivik deserves to die. Not Amy. Though death is too easy for him.
And, of course, the great Twitter debate still continues over whether it’s wrong to be mourning for “another celebrity” rather than the lives lost in Norway.
You can mourn for both.
Amy’s music touches hearts and lives all over the world … and we need things like music, art and creativity to connect with, and express ourselves. They stop us from turning into animals like Breivik.